8 Best Modems For COX | April 2017

We spent 32 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you are a Cox Communications cable customer, but you aren't particularly happy with your Internet Wi-Fi speeds, try one of these third-party modems. They will not only boost your network connections, but they will also free you from the monthly fee that Cox charges you to rent their inferior hardware. Some also include a router, so you can save even more on hardware costs. Skip to the best modem for cox on Amazon.
8 Best Modems For COX | April 2017
Overall Rank: 6
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 8
Best Inexpensive
★★★
8
The Zoom Telephonics 5341J delivers up to 1,000Mbps when hardwired through its Ethernet port. It's specifically designed to save you money, not just by eliminating provider rental fees, but also by including a switching power cube that draws significantly less electricity.
  • backward compatible with docsis
  • easy to install
  • poorly placed rf input
Brand Zoom
Model 5341-00-00J
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
7
The Arris Surfboard SBG6580 has a long-range, dual-band 802.11N Wi-Fi access point built into its body, so you get a high-quality router with your purchase that requires no extra setup or shelf space. The unit only reaches speeds of 343Mbps, however.
  • 4-port gigabit ethernet connection
  • good security provided
  • link light blinks distractingly
Brand Arris
Model SBG6580-2
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0
6
While it may not have its own built-in Wi-Fi router, the Linksys CM3024 reliably reaches speeds of up to 960Mbps. Partnered with a top-tier wireless transmission unit, its 24 downstream channels will coordinate to provide you with excellent service.
  • intel puma 6 chipset
  • plug-and-play setup
  • leds are too bright at night
Brand Linksys
Model CM3024
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
5
The Netgear CM600-100NAS boasts 960Mbps download rates and has a gigabit Ethernet port for faster hardwired access. The indicator lights are also just bright enough to be helpful, but not so intense they'll keep you up at night.
  • delivers high-speed gaming
  • slim design won't take up much space
  • unit gets very hot
Brand NETGEAR
Model CM600-100NAS
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
4
The Motorola MG7550 features a power boost in its built-in AC1900 Wi-Fi router, which provides both consistency and additional range to an already fast signal. The unit's housing is exceedingly well-ventilated, ensuring a longer lifespan.
  • 16x4 channel bonding
  • advanced firewall protections
  • focused beamforming
Brand Motorola
Model MG7550
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
3
The Netgear Nighthawk C7000 keeps your connection fast and free of interruptions, with 24 bonded downstream channels that can pick up the slack for one another during peak hours. It also features the company's beamforming+ technology for long-range HD coverage.
  • built-in ac1900 wi-fi
  • convenient usb interface
  • high-quality processor
Brand NETGEAR
Model C7000-100NAS
Weight 4.9 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
1
The Arris Surfboard SBG7580AC combines 32 bonded downstream channels with eight upstreams, along with a built-in, lightning-fast AC1750 Wi-Fi router, so your entire internet experience can revolve around a single, effective hub.
  • supports ipv4 and ipv6
  • 4 one-gigabit ethernet ports
  • 2-year warranty
Brand Arris
Model SBG7580AC
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

What Do I Need to Consider Before Purchasing a Modem?

Assuming you are a Cox Cable customer, your first priority whenever considering a third-party modem is whether that modem will be compatible with your cable hook-up. Cox provides a list of compatible modems on its website, and you can also determine whether a specific model will be compatible by reading its description or by contacting the manufacturer via email or phone. (Obviously, all of the models on our list are Cox-compatible.)

Your next consideration should be internet speed. Ideally, you'll want to purchase a modem with as fast a connection as is available within your budget. If you're not tech-savvy, you may want to look into buying a modem that features a running row of lights across the console. These lights are usually color-coded, with green meaning that a specific function is working, and red meaning that a specific function has stopped. More often than not, you can use these lights to work out common troubleshooting issues. Along those lines, you may want to purchase your modem from a manufacturer that offers customer service around the clock.

Depending on how your home - or office - is set up, you may want to confirm that any modem you're interested in has a considerable range, assuming that said modem is, in fact, wireless. Wireless modems with a poor range (i.e., less than 50 ft.) may suffer from interference that interrupts your connection on a regular basis, and that, in turn, could lead to a loss of work, poor streaming capability, or worse.

In the event you have a high-speed connection, you'll want to purchase a modem that is capable of channel bonding. Channel bonding is an industry term that refers to spreading incoming data over two or more lines, or channels. The result is a more fluid transmission that minimizes delays, including buffering.

Depending on where you plan on placing your modem, be sure that any specific model will be durable enough to withstand heat from constant use, exposure to sunlight, dampness, and dust. You may also want to confirm whether a specific modem is actually energy-efficient, as an energy-efficient model can help you to save money.

The Myriad Advantages of Owning a Third-Party Modem

Over the past few years, an increasing number of Cox Cable customers have purchased third-party modems for use with their Cox-enabled internet connections. This trend started as a reaction to Cox charging customers a rental fee for modem-routers that had been previously included for free as a part of each customer's installation package. While these fees appear minor (i.e., less than $10 a month), they are also recurring, amounting to an extra $75-100 a year.

On top of rental fees, there is also a consideration of electricity costs. Whereas Cox's modems do not require an exorbitant amount of electricity, there are definitely models on the market that can do the same job while costing a customer less. In addition, owning a top-of-the-line modem might increase a COX customer's network performance, thereby decreasing the chances that your service might freeze or crash.

Certain third-party modems may also be easier to repair or troubleshoot than a standard Cox modem. Keep in mind that as a contractual renter, Cox Cable reserves the right to charge you for any modem that has been irreparably damaged, or broken. If a Cox modem does break, you could end up paying a monthly fee for a new model, while also compensating the company for its old one. The most viable solution might be to seek out a third-party modem that comes with a strong warranty. Having a warranty might allow you to choose between an even exchange or a money-back return for a damaged modem.

A Brief History of The Modem

The story of the modem begins during the 1920s, when news wire services began to use multiplex devices as a way of sending and receiving typed transmissions via telephone wire. This technology, which paved the way for the facsimile machine, also provided an early window into how a dial-up modem would work.

Modems were initially used by the U.S. Air Force as part of a telephonic air-defense system during the 1950s. This system connected terminals across a variety of command sites throughout the United States and Canada, allowing for instant communication by way of typed messages. Given this was new technology, it was extremely difficult - if not impossible - for other parties to intercept any of the transmissions between points.

In 1962, AT&T set up the first public network of modem lines, allowing businesses and individuals to communicate by way of telephonic data. Modem datasets were housed inside of rectangular computer terminals with a phone cradled above the monitor and a keyboard attached along the front end. AT&T was able to claim a veritable monopoly on modems throughout the 1960s, due to patented technology and exclusive access to cross-country phone lines. This began to change during the 1970s, as rival companies developed their own modem technology, while also partnering with computer companies to establish end-to-end control.

As the technology surrounding computers, phone lines, and data improved, modems were able to send more data more quickly, and they were also capable of executing more elaborate commands. Throughout the 1980s, modem technology was largely focused on increasing the manner in which a collection of data could be received. Several companies began developing uniform protocols that would enable different types of modems to communicate more effectively, regardless of make, manufacturer, or model.

During the 1990s, dial-up modems became standard in most homes as a result of the internet boom. After the turn of the 20th century, consumers began upgrading to broadband modems, any of which could send and receive unprecedented amounts of data within seconds. Today, cable companies own the majority of the broadband market. In a lot of cases, these cable companies have taken to charging customers a monthly rental fee for the use of customized modems. Consumers have responded by purchasing compatible third-party modems that allow them to avoid those rental fees. In certain cases, these third-party modems can even provide a customer with superior network performance.



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Last updated on April 25 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.